In April 2020 we wrote an (admittedly premature) article on the lessons learned from working at distance during the Covid lockdown. It turns out there was still much to discover!
With a little hindsight it turns out that much of what we wrote is still relevant, particularly when it comes to looking after your mental health, your team and the surrounding community. Only now, with the big picture becoming clearer and change accelerating throughout our industries, there’s even more to consider.
1. Capacity demands originality.
For many of our customers, increased demand for moving products within New Zealand and throughout the world has required both increased capacity and enhanced speed. We’re happy to see these customers ‘thinking outside the box’ when it comes to their end of line approach.
Often that means moving into greater levels of automation and optimising flow in their DCs. By doing so they’re making big gains not only in overall efficiency – they’re also reducing staging areas and creating more stack space. Freeing up labour and space means these companies are also creating valuable resources with existing operations. It’s a win-win-win situation.
2. Every product is precious.
In the past, product damage from shipping has been seen as an inescapable fact of life. It wasn’t a matter of ‘if’ there was product damage but ‘when’ and ‘how much’.
Nowadays businesses are realising the overall costs of product damage must be measured in time and cost spent replacing and repackaging, the sustainability impacts, and the blow to their brand reputation. Companies like NZ Drinks recognised that “all up it takes hours to fix the issue when a pallet comes back” and have made smart investments in roping units and pallet wrap choices to ensure damaged products are a thing of the past.
3. Plan ahead.
Many of our customers are now modelling future throughput and having in place an end of line system that delivers both a good short-term outcome and great medium and long-term results.
The recent upheaval means many New Zealand companies are planning their pallet packaging for both good times and bad, ensuring there’s the flexibility to scale up or shift resources where needed. So too are lease-to-own arrangements with semi-automatic pallet wrapping equipment ensuring these companies can meet demand without stress. Maintenance plans are front of mind too. More and more customers understand the importance that uninterrupted throughput has in their supply chain.
4. Celebrate success (and stay hungry).
It was true at the start of Covid and it’s even more so now. We need to acknowledge victories and the effort that goes into them. This can be done in any number of ways, be it with handshakes, high-fives, bonuses, unexpected reward or amazing team days.
It’s all the more important to foster this culture of achievement at every level of your organisation, because a company will rest on their laurels at their peril. Be it technological, societal or industrial, the rate of change throughout the world only seems to be accelerating. Competition in a global marketplace is huge. Nobody can afford to take their eyes off the prize!